Previously I put together a post on Børge Mogensen and his furniture, in-particular the pieces that have been showed at the Wright auction house based in Chicago, Illinois. This article follows the same line today but on a different creative, this time Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto.
I’ve had a whale of a time over the last few months just drifting back and forward from the Wright website where they beautifully present these masterpieces in design, it’s even given me a few leads in regards to designers that I’ve never seen before or collections I didn’t know had been produced. I’ve even found some extraordinary Picasso pieces that are soon to be up for auction this morning, maybe we’ll talk about these some other time on the blog.
Today I’ve decided to group together some of my favourite furniture pieces from Alvar Aalto thanks to the Wright website, it seems absurd that I haven’t really discussed Alvar’s work that much in the past, although I had originally presented his house and vases. This just shows the variety of work that he actually produced over the years and the in-depth knowledge that he had on a wide array of subjects. Through reading his books and studying his work it’s become quite apparent that at different points in his life he had certain phases and developments. For example in the early days he revolved around a Nordic classicism style, then throughout his career he went onto functionalism, experimentation and monumentalism. These set categories really had an impact on his work as he searched for the right fit in his own life, to express himself properly and accurately at that specific time.
This furniture is from his functionalism era which took more of a modernist approach towards design, Aalto actually saw his other projects, like painting or sculpture, as part of his process of architectural design. These small scale experiments also led to a number of patents, for example he invented a new form of laminated bent-plywood furniture in 1932, these experimental methods had mainly been influenced by his meetings with various members of the Bauhaus design school.
This led Alvar to found company Artek with his wife Aino, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. I’ve picked out some statement pieces but also some more underrated and simplistic objects such as the chest of drawers and the small table sets, some of these would blend perfectly into any room and would be very discreet. The above chair for example is a smaller version of his Cantilever chair and is actually a child’s chair made out of birch plywood and laminated beech. It would be great addition to a child’s room, or any room for that matter.
Overall Aalto’s work is mind-blowingly inspirational, when Frank Lloyd Wright says his buildings are a “work of genius” then you know the rest of his work will definitely follow suit. Check out my favourite selection of furniture from the Wright auction house below, for additional information I’ve placed some links for you to wander over to.